What is conception? It seems to be an odd question for everyone knows what it is. But what does conception exactly mean and how does it happen?
Conception occurs when a woman’s ovum (an egg cell) is fertilized by a man’s sperm cell. Only one out of millions sperm cells takes part in this egg-sperm fusion. Sperm reaches a woman’s vagina after sexual intercourse and an egg is released from the ovary during ovulation.
Conception doesn’t always happen after you have sex. In case an ovum is not properly formed, the sperm cells can “wait” for it for a day. It is believed that sperm cells carrying female chromosomes are capable of a longer period of expectation than cells carrying male ones. After an egg and a sperm cells fuse, a new cell is formed — an embryo one that starts the process of active division right away. An embryo gets attached to the uterine wall and that’s how pregnancy starts.
Sure, the period of ovulation is the most favorable time for fertilization and conception. It starts about 14 days prior to your period. At the same time, uterine endometrium grows thicker and the amount of cervical mucus increases. This makes it easier for the sperm cells to get inside.
As hormones surge into blood, follicle bursts open and releases an ovum which goes into the fallopian tube and starts moving towards the uterus. In its turn, the ovum fuses with a sperm cell and an embryo is formed: that is, the conception occurs.
But it should be noted that without ovulation, no conception can happen. It’s known that an egg cell is viable during 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. This is the period when conception is possible. Despite the fact that sperm cells can live in a woman’s body for up to 5 days, the length of conception depends on an ovum. If it doesn’t get fertilized within this period, another chance to conceive will occur only during the next menstrual cycle.
How much time does conception take to occur?
Taking into account an average speed at which a sperm cell moves (3 to 4 mm per minute), it takes about an hour for it to get to the egg cell. This means that conception is only possible an hour after ejaculation. At the same time, it’s absolutely impossible to estimate the exact time the ovulation starts, which is why conception may happen even a week after you have sex.
So, the embryo cell is formed; it started dividing and moving towards your uterus. Seven days later it reaches its place of destination and starts producing chorionic gonadotropin — a hormone that makes the yellow body of an ovary to produce progesterone.
As a result, uterine endometrium that provides the embryo with oxygen and all necessary elements grow thicker.
This means that a doctor, by detecting the chorionic gonadotropin hormone and by determining its concentration in a woman’s blood, can identify pregnancy and find out the way an embryo develops.
Can you get pregnant faster?
Sure. Here are several steps you can take to quicken the process.
First of all, find out when your ovulation occurs, because that’s the day (when ovum leaves an ovary) you can conceive.
Second, sexual intercourse aimed at conceiving must happen at the same time with ovulation. Research data shows that couples who plan to have sex during the period of ovulation have a better chance to conceive a baby. The best time for having sex to conceive is the day of ovulation, 2-3 days before it or a day after.
It’s also important that you prepare your body for pregnancy. Both your general and reproductive health are important factors affecting your fertility, so start planning to get pregnant after a comprehensive medical examination. Replenish the supply of all nutrients your body will need during pregnancy. And do pay special attention to your physical shape: both excessive and insufficient weight affect your chances to conceive.